Project 365 – Day 122: Annual May Day Anti-Capitalist March turns violent

May 1 2012

On May 1 in Montreal, Unions, anti-capitalist movement and others march to demonstrate support for their various grievances. These days demonstrations through the streets are nothing unusual with Quebec students entering their 12th week of boycotting classes in their fight against tuition fee hikes.

I went down to Champ de Mars where the Anti-Capitalist march was due to start at 5pm. There were probably a few thousand demonstrators gathered on the grass behind City Hall in Old Montreal under the careful watch of groups of police. I’m not sure how long the Anti-Capitalist march has been running, but I know it often ends in violence…Unfortunately tonight was to prove no different.

Tulips and police

Tulips and police

Montreal Police keeping watch over anti-Capitalist march

Montreal Police keeping watch over anti-Capitalist march

Police cavalry getting some attention

Police cavalry getting some attention

Anti-Capitalist March sets off from Champ de Mars

Anti-Capitalist March sets off from Champ de Mars

The Patriot flag

The Patriot flag

A full orchestra adds some festive spirit

A full orchestra adds some festive spirit

March makes its way along rue Notre Dame

March makes its way along rue Notre Dame

The real breakers are State Leaders

The real breakers are State Leaders

A couple and their dog watch the march

A couple and their dog watch the march

From rue Notre-Dame the demonstration turned down towards China Town along boulevard Saint-Laurent. The March stretched almost from boulevard René-Levesque back to Notre-Dame.

Looking up Saint-Laurent towards Notre-Dame

Looking up Saint-Laurent towards Notre-Dame

March heads through China Town

March heads through China Town

Elderly man watches protest

Elderly man watches protest

Anti-Capitalist clown protesters

Anti-Capitalist clown protesters

Anti-Capitalist Protesters

Anti-Capitalist Protesters

Although the odd fire cracker had been set off right at the start of the march, you could sense groups of protesters were becoming more verbal and more fireworks were beginning to be set off as the march made its way along René-Levesque to rue University.

Police accompany march along René-Levesque

Police accompany march along René-Levesque

Police and marchers along René-Levesque

Police and marchers along René-Levesque

Police and marchers along René-Levesque

Police and marchers along René-Levesque

Police and marchers along René-Levesque

Police and marchers along René-Levesque

Smoke Bomb thrown at police

Smoke Bomb thrown at police

It was when the march reached the corner of University and sainte Catherine that violence broke out. The first damage was the breaking of windows at a bank and Ailes de la Mode department store with a small group of protesters throwing projectiles at a small group of police who took refuge in doorways along rue Sainte Catherine.

Smoke bomb on rue sainte-Catherine

Smoke bomb on rue sainte-Catherine

Protesters throw projectiles at police on Sainte Catherine

Protesters throw projectiles at police on Sainte Catherine

Protesters throw projectiles at police on Sainte Catherine

Protesters throw projectiles at police on Sainte Catherine

Protesters throw projectiles at police on Sainte Catherine

Protesters throw projectiles at police on Sainte Catherine

Montreal police retreat down sainte Catherine

Montreal police retreat down sainte Catherine

Montreal police retreat down sainte Catherine

Montreal police retreat down sainte Catherine

At 6pm, 1 hour after the march started, the now familiar police announcement came that the gathering was now illegal and for everyone to disperse.

Police announcement van calling gathering illegal

Police announcement van calling gathering illegal

The Police used flash grenades to disperse the crowd followed by baton charges by the police intervention squad and mounted police along Maisonneuve and Sherbrooke streets.

Smoke hangs in the air on University street as police move in

Smoke hangs in the air on University street as police move in

Mounted Police charge up rue University

Mounted Police charge up rue University

Mounted Police charge up rue University

Mounted Police charge up rue University

The less intimidating mounted police

The less intimidating mounted police

I was stuck behind a police cordon on Maisonneuve, so made my way down President Kennedy and up Bleury to head home as I didn’t fancy getting arrested. When I reached Sherbrooke at the corner of Park, there had obviously been further confrontations given the debris on the road and the number of police in the vicinity. Thankfully one of my morning coffee stops – Café Imagination – appeared undamaged.

Café table and chair on Sherbrooke street

Café table and chair on Sherbrooke street

Police vehicles along Sherbrooke street

Police vehicles along Sherbrooke street

Riot Police on Sherbrooke street

Riot Police on Sherbrooke street

Riot Police on Sherbrooke street

Riot Police on Sherbrooke street

Mounted police on rue Jeanne-Mance

Mounted police on rue Jeanne-Mance

Police reinforcements on rue Jeanne Mance

Police reinforcements on rue Jeanne Mance

Police reinforcements on rue Jeanne Mance

Police reinforcements on rue Jeanne Mance

Since I was only one block away from home, I decided to call it a night. From what I hear the protesters ended up around the Berri Metro and around 100 arrests were made during the march.

The good news is that this evening’s student march was peaceful.

I will leave you with this image and wishing everyone a great and peaceful month of May. And also, many thanks to all the new followers and likes over the last few days – amazing what an inclusion on “freshly pressed” can do and I still don’t understand how posts make it on there, so if anyone can explain, please comment 🙂

Happy May day everyone

Happy May day everyone

To view images in gallery format, simply click on one of the images below.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

– Martin

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Project 365 – Day 122: Annual May Day Anti-Capitalist March turns violent

  1. While I like the photos, I wonder if that penchant isn’t a reflection of the CSI-aestheticization of popular culture. I find it curious that the photo essay’s aesthetics discord with the introductory paragraphs where you state clear that violence is unfortunate. I wonder what then are the ethics of the photo (in this case).

    • Sorry Stephanie, I somehow neglected to reply to your comment – I always like to leave a reply when someone has taken the trouble to not only visit, but also leave a comment.

      I deplore violence and unfortunately as you see in the images, the anti-capitalist rally did in fact turn violent…The majority of protesters are peaceful and just the tiny minority make a bad reflection on the message trying to be heard.

  2. I like the candid attitude with which you share your questions about how one gets to Freshly Pressed. In addition to the basic requirements of having original content, clean language and appealing titles, based on what I read this morning, posting high quality big pictures is also helping. WordPress first uses a robot to scan good candidates for the Freshly Pressed feed but ultimately, a human has to open the website and approve it. This is one way of guaranteeing the quality of content. In any case, I was already planning on inserting large individual pictures instead of collecting all of them in a gallery. For now, if you go to any of my posts, you will notice that most of the pictures are 600px thumbnails to open a gallery of pictures.

    The titles in my blog are probably too political anyways for my blog to be promoted.

Leave a comment, ask me a question or just say Hi :-)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: